The Hunter’s federal MPs are welcoming news that the Marriage Equality Bill will likely become law by the end of this week.
The bill passed the Senate last week, 43 votes to 12, after 61.6 per cent of Australians voted “yes” in the voluntary postal survey that asked whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex marriage. With parliament rising for the year at the end of this week, it’s the final chance for the House of Representatives to pass the bill before Christmas – as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised before the results were announced.
The Newcastle, Shortland, Hunter and Paterson electorates each recorded a higher “yes” vote than the state and national average.
Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon said “the sense of history has been palpable in the parliament this week”.
“All signs suggest that opponents of marriage equality within the parliament won’t be successful in their attempts to hold off this momentous event, but I won’t be comfortable until the vote is held and the majority support is formally confirmed,” she said.
Shortland MP Pat Conroy spoke on the issue in parliament on Tuesday evening and labelled the survey a waste of money.
“I am so relieved that, hopefully, by the end of this week we will have marriage equality in this country,” he said.
Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon told Fairfax Media that “an overwhelming majority of MPs want it done as quickly as possible” and that he had “no doubt” the bill would pass this week.
Paterson MP Meryl Swanson said the passage of the bill through the Senate was “an historic milestone”.
“Now it is up to the House of Representatives to take the final step – let’s get this done,” she said.
“The Marriage Equality bill has never been about political correctness, or removing the right of parents to control what their children learn at school. This bill has been about equality. Marriage equality. The people have spoken – love has won.”